"Not All Bahamians Are For Sale"

As this whole CONCACAF Carnival de Sleaze has continued to unfold (unravel?) and one sorry, sordid tale of venality and shameless greed follows another, it becomes increasingly clear that there aren't many heros.

Even the guys who we now see as Fighting the Good Fight are, in one way or another, tainted by the sleaze they've been if not actively promoting then at least tacitly complicit in for lo these many years.

However, there is in fact one man - or two if you include his partner - who has gotten little attention but who is deserving of both our thanks and our praise.

You probably know at least the basics of his story, but for benefit of those who may have come in late - and as a reminder to the rest of us - it deserves to be told again.

Anton Sealey is the President of the Bahamas Football Association. As such, he should have been in Port-of-Spain on that fateful day when Jack Warners' minions started handing out bundles of cash.

But Sealey was in Zurich helping prepare for the FIFA Congress, so his Vice President, Fred Lunn, went in his place.

When Warner ordered everyone to go and line up outside an adjoining ballroom, Lunn was, purely by happenstance, one of the first in line and, thus, one of the first members to be handed a brown envelope with his nations' name on it, told to sign a receipt and then warned not to open it in front of anyone or discuss the contents publicly.

So Lunn left the Grand Hyatt ballroom, went to a secluded table, tore open the envelope and was astonished to see four $10,000 bundles of US$100 bills come tumbling out. The picture that you've surely seen of the stacks of bills next to the opened envelope was Lunns' cell phone picture, taken at that very moment, of his own package.

He then went to a CFU official and told him that he was "not authorized to accept such a gift" but was told to take it anyway.

Lunn - and we'd all, myself included, do well to remember this the next time we carelessly lump the entire CFU into one neat "bunch of greedbags" box - was uncomfortable about this and wasn't sure what to do. So he texted Sealey in Zurich asking "What should I do?" and sent the picture along at the same time.

A few moments later his phone rang. It was Sealey.

"Under no circumstances" Sealey told him "will the Bahamas FA accept such a cash gift." He told Lunn to give the money back.

So Lunn put the money back in the envelope and then walked back to the ballroom and got back in line.

As he stood there, two delegates from another country, ignoring the careful instructions they had just gotten, came out the door, ripped open the envelope and right there, in front of everyone, divvied up the money between them.

And with Lunn standing in line outside the ballroom door, likely getting some pretty odd looks from his fellow delegates, Sealey in Zurich thought about it for a few minutes and then picked up his cell and dialed Chuck Blazer.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Sir Jack Hayward is a resident of the Bahamas.

Probably best known for spending - and losing - a not-so-small fortune rescuing his hometown Wolverhampton Wanderers from obscurity, he's currently in Florida getting medical treatment but he called The Tribune in Freeport TO TALK ABOUT Sealey and Lunn, and how very proud he, and all Bahamians, are today.

The article makes the point far better than I ever could:

"The attempted bribe was an insult to the whole Caribbean.

"Those seeking the Caribbean Football Federation's vote obviously saw its members as coming from poor island nations who would never have seen so much money as fell from the brown envelope that was offered them. Many proved to their tempters that poor they might be, but they had pride, they had integrity and although they might never see so much money again, under such tainted conditions they would never stoop so low as to pick it up. As was pointed out, $40,000 for the Caribbean's smaller islands would be the equivalent of several years' salary.

"As for the Bahamas, having been once written off as an "island for sale", Sealey, Lunn and the BFA redeemed the country's reputation. They showed the world that not all Bahamians are for sale."

Jack Warners' real crime isn't that he steals money.

Rather, it's that for all his talk about raising up and empowering the Caribbean nations, what he has actually done is degrade them, dragged them down and turned them into simpering, dependent puppies licking their masters' hand as he doles out treats and favors.

People are saying that CONCACAF will always be stuck with a CFU member as President because they hold the vast preponderance of the votes.

But if they'd like to use those votes on a man like Anton Sealey, well, I'm more than OK with that.

There's just nothing to add, except perhaps to note that Sealey's son Justin, a member of the full Bahamian National side, just finished his Freshman year as a member of the North Carolina Tar heels.

I'm going to go ahead and speculate that the kid is going to turn out OK.